TO: ALL NEWS MEDIA
FROM: PROSECUTOR GURBIR S. GREWAL
DATE: MARCH 9, 2017
Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal today released a report entitled "Report on the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic in Bergen County." The report is a year-end report that highlights the effect that the heroin and opioid crisis had on Bergen County in 2016. A copy of the report can be downloaded at http://www.bcpo.net/images/pdf/2016-Report-on-Heroin-Epidemic.pdf .
As detailed in the report, there was an increase in 2016 in total reported overdoses in Bergen County, with 308 overdoses. This represents a 6.9% increase from 2015, during which there were 288 total reported overdoses. As in 2015, however, the majority of the overdoses in 2016 were heroin and opioid related. Despite the increase in total overdoses, however, the number of overdose fatalities remained the same in 2016 with 87 overdose deaths. The fact that overdose deaths remained constant is due in large part to the tireless efforts of County law enforcement officers, who deployed Narcan, the overdose reversal drug, on 207 occasions in 2016, resulting in 180 saved lives. This represents a 10.7% increase in Narcan deployments from 2015.
As it did in 2016, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office ("BCPO") is sharing current County overdose and Narcan Save data, as well as mapping the epidemic in the County, using social media. The public is encouraged to follow the BCPO’s efforts on Twitter (@BCPONJ) or on Facebook (fb.com/bcponj). The BCPO is also asking the public to share their own experiences and suggestions concerning this issue by using the hashtag #StopTheODs
"The goal of this report, like our social media campaign, #StopTheODs, is to destigmatize the heroin and opioid epidemic by showing that it affects every pocket of the County." stated Prosecutor Grewal. "By doing so, we hope to encourage parents, children, educators and others to use this information to do their part to help prevent the next overdose," said Grewal. "In the end, however, education is the key; if we can steer children and adults from the known pathways to heroin and opioid addiction, we can stem this rising epidemic."
Prosecutor Grewal thanked Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco, III, and Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino for their partnership and support of the BCPO’s efforts to combat the County’s heroin and opioid epidemic.